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Mosquito KA114 Visits Classic Flyers

Written by Garry Bentley on December 31st, 2012.      0 comments

On a hot sunny summer afternoon Classic Flyers was proud to host the arrival of the worlds only flying restored De Havilland Mosquito from WWII. Following announcements inthe local press and email notification to all our friends of the museum, many hundreds of people descended upon Classic Flyers eagerly awaiting its arrival.

As is often the case with complex (and often temperamental) machinery the Mosquito was a couple of hours later than its original expected arrival time. This led to an even higher level of anticipation amongst the crowd. When the aircraft finally arrived it did a couple of local flights before performing a display over the airport and some low passes over the museum that blew everyone away as they marvelled at its grace and style in the air. Finally the aicraft was taxied all the way up the ramp to park on the apron right outside the Classic Flyers main "Legacy Jet Centre" hangar.

There would be very few people in the workd that will be able to say that they were able to stand with a few meters of such an magnificent aircraft as it taxied to a stop in front of them. Those people that attended Classic Flyers that day are now amongst those few. Once the aircraft had been shut down and secured, the rope barriers were dropped and the crowd poured onto the apron to take a close up look at what was making all this noise!

Later on a stage was placed in front of the aircraft and the two human stars of the event Pilot - Keith Skilling and Constructor - Warren Denholm gave an extremely interesting and entertaining talk about how the Mosquito was built and what it is like to fly it. Warren and Keith both answered many questions from the audience that added to the charm and informality of the event.

Following an overnight stay in the "Legacy Jet Centre" hanger at Classic Flyers the Mosquito was rolled out the following to be prepared for its return flight to its base at Ardmore Airport. Once prepped and refueled the Mosquito departed for Ardmore after giving one more low pass over the Classic Flyers hangar for those people that had come out to see it for the last time.

For those people that could not make it to Classic Flyers on the day there is some good footage of the day on the following You Tube link showing it displaying,landing, taxying and parking at Classic Flyers plus some of the talk given by Keth and Warren.

For those people that did not get to see the aircraft on the following day before it left to go to Ardmore a selection of photos taken by Garry Bentley are shown below

And finally for those of us who would give our right arm to fly in this incredible machine the following link to a You Tube video will take you to some amazing footage as Warren Denholm put a camera on his helmet for a flight from Ardmore over Auckland in company with a DH Vampire. Turn your volume up load and enjoy!
Mos loading up 1 sml
Mosquito KA114 on the ramp at Classic Flyers being prepped for it flight back to Ardmore
Mos loading up 2 sml
Loading up support equipment into the rear fuselage compartment of KA114 at Classic Flyers
Mos and Keith smal
Pilot Keith Skilling at the foot of the extendable ladder leading up to the cockpit of KA114
Mos cockpit entry sml
Its along way up to the entry to the cockpit of KA114
Mos cockpit view sml
For such a large plane the office of KA114 gives the impression of being extremely busy and cramped
Mos sharp end sml
THe businessend of KA114 shows a formdable array of cannons and machine guns
Mos left engine sml
KA114's starbord Merlin engine up close
Mos undercart sml
The complexity and ingenuity of design is shown in this detail shot of KA114's undercarriage
Mos rear quarter sml
KA114's graceful and aerodynamically clean lines are shown off to best effect
Mos up close 1 sml
Mosquito KA114 awaiting final boarding by Keith and Warren prior to departure to Ardmore
Mos startup sml
Preflight complete, all aboard and ready to start engines at Classic Flyers ramp


Acorn Foundation Partnership

Written by Garry Bentley on October 22nd, 2012.      0 comments

“The Acorn Foundation (established 2003) is a Community Foundation. The underlying principle of a community foundation is that ‘Generosity begins on Main Street.’ In other words, we believe that people want to support causes close to home, and often close to the heart.” 

The Acorn Foundation provides a vehicle through which people can make a contribution to the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty community every year, forever. It is a way of enabling lasting benefit for your legacy or donation and we have set up the Classic Flyers Endowment Fund with the Acorn Trust so that you can specifically allocate your donation and bequest to us.

Click on the the Acorn Foundation logo below to go to their website to learn more.
Acorn Foundation

  •    Leave a gift in your will.
  •    Donate during your lifetime and have the pleasure of seeing your money make a difference (and receive 33% tax credits).

  •    Capital is invested in perpetuity and 5% of the total funds are distributed annually.  Interest form capital invested in the Classic Flyers NZ Endowment Fund will only be paid to Classic Flyers NZ.
  •    Donors can specify their preferred charities or the trustees decide where the money is best needed at the time.
  •    Voluntary trustees are appointed by the local councils and professional bodies.
More information can be obtained directly from the Acorn Trust ( which is based here in Tauranga or at Classic Flyers NZ contact David Love (

18th Mini Nationals coming to Classic Flyers

Written by Garry Bentley on October 14th, 2012.      0 comments

If you are a fan of the classic Mini car then you will want to visit Classic Flyers on Sunday 21st October (Labour Weekend) when over 100 minis from throughout New Zeland and Australia converge in Tauranga & Rotorua for the 18th Mini Nationals. This year it is being organised by the Tauranga Mini Owners Club along with their counterparts in Rotorua.

Wayne Ozich of the Tauranga Club says people from the Western Bay of Plenty will have an opportunity to inspect these iconic vehicles. The Minis will be passing through Tauranga and Mt Maunganui on Sunday as part of a tour by the participating vechicles. They will be calling in at Classic Flyers for a lunch stop before returning to Rotorua where the participants are staying for the weekend.

The Minis will be parked on the apron adjacent to the AvGas cafe and amongst some of the historic aircraft located at the museum. Visitors to the museum will be encouraged to check out the cars first-hand and talk to the drivers.

So bring your camera and come along to Classic Flyers for a feast of Classic cars and Classic aircraft on Sunday 21st October this LAbour Weekend. Normal admission charges apply.

Classic Market

Written by Garry Bentley on September 16th, 2012.      0 comments

This Sunday 30th September sees the return of the Classic Flyers "Classic Market". If you have something to sell yourself contact us to book a site for your stall Sellers can access the site from 7.30am. Buyers can come along at 8.00am to grab those bargins.

See you there

Car Boot Sale Sept med

Fathers Day Special Event

Written by Garry Bentley on August 12th, 2012.      0 comments

Come and celebrate Fathers Day this Sunday 2nd September at Classic Flyers. If you shout your Dad a meal in the AvGas cafe (minimum $20 meal spend required) then Dad and the rest of the family can enter the museum for half the normal entry price.

As a special treat for Fathers Day we have plenty of extra activities such as:
  • Ride the Pedal Planes (for the young ones)
  • Try your hand flying in the Hawker Hunter Jet flight experience
  • Watch an exciting action movie in the young Aviations Cinema
  • Go for a ride on our vintage Fire Engine (operating all day weather permitting)
  • Lego building activities in the Young Flyers classroom in Hangar 5

If you are short of gift ideas for Dad why not shout Dad a flight in one of our Classic Aircraft (normal charges apply). Or for something a bit cheaper that are loads of cool aviation related gifts in the Bunker Gift Shop from $5 to $95.

Every kid that vistis also get a free cardboard cutout model aircraft to take home and make with Dad as a souvineer of the day.

Dont forget to check out our two new aircraft acquisitions (the Skyhawk and Macchi jets) and also see how far the restoration team have got with the rebuild of the P40 Kittyhawk in Hangar 3.

So come on down to Classic Flyers this Sunday (rain or shine) for the best fun you can have in the bay.

Model Aircraft Competition Prizegiving Results

Written by Garry Bentley on July 25th, 2012.      0 comments

The weekend of Sunday 15th of July was a very wet but very successful Classic Flyers Model Aircraft Competition. It was well atended by many keen modelers who had put a lot of effort into thier entries. There was also an enthusiastic crowd of young and old aviators that had a go at flying their creations in the flying competition. Everyone certainly had a great time.

The results of the competiion are listed below:

Junior Pilots’ Colouring Competition

5 Years & Under
3rd                  Billy Fraser
2nd                 Adan Steward
1st                  Harrison Read

6 & 7 Years
3rd equal         Kyla Newnham
                      Brennan Miller
                      Faolaina Tepa
2nd                 Cassia Song
1st                  Sophie Leaver

8 – 10 Years
3rd equal        Shaun Kelsey
                     Sheylea More
                     Ruby Bird
                     Maddox Pilgrim
                     Gursharan Kaur
                     Samantha Plane
2nd                 Sarah Burns
1st                  Jessica Chadwick

Model Aircraft Building Competition

Classic Flyers NZ Class - Junior 1/72 scale Kittyhawk
The entries in this class were so even there was only one point between each placing.
Highly Commended equal           Ethan Croucher
                                                Cole Blockley
2nd equal         Mani Noel
                      Brayden Palmer
1st                  Keenan Barton-Hutchings

Junior Open – aircraft model entrant’s own choice
3rd equal         Ethan Croucher
                      Peter Brockett
2nd                  Rachel Brockett
1st                   Joshua Brockett

Senior Open – aircraft model entrant’s own choice
1st                   Ramon Hopkins (Judges made a special note that this is a “lovely model”.
People’s Choice Award (voted by public)       Cole Blockley

Certificate for school with most entries in these classes:    Brockett Home School
Paper plane making and Basic Flying Classes

Paper plane making and flying
Most original design         Lana Beck
Best decorated                Ruby Bird
Longest flight                  Joshua Brockett
Most aerobatic flight        Scott Ebert

Glider flying
3rd                                                Brayden Palmer
2nd                                               Lana Beck
1st                                                Joshua Brockett

Rubber powered model flying
3rd                                                Timothy Croucher
2nd                                               Jack Leaver
1st                                                Ethan Croucher

Top 3 Ingredients in Procurring a Skyhawk - Passion, Purpose and Perseverance

Written by Margit Barreras on May 13th, 2012.      0 comments

Screen Shot 2012 05 13 at 2Classic Flyers NZ has been awaiting the arrival of the "Skyhawk" for sometime now.  It has been no small task procuring a magnificent piece of New Zealand's Aviation History to take center stage in the Main Aircraft Hangar at 9 Jean Batten Drive.  What does it take you may ask to have this type of Event take place? 

First ingredient for Skyhawk procurement is "Passion" and bucket loads of it.  I am new to the world of Aviation but I can tell you for certain that nothing goes on in this world without a ton of passionate individuals behind it. No Passion, no Skyhawk!  The Skyhawk would not be coming to Tauranga without a bunch of passionate individuals collectively saying "Wouldn't it be great to have a Skyhawk here in Tauranga!" 

Second ingredient to bring a Skyhawk to town is "Purpose".  Classic Flyers NZ is committed to the collective Purpose of preserving insanely awesome pieces of New Zealand Aviation History within the hangars located next to the Tauranga Airport itself.  From the day of it's inception the team of Aviation Enthusiasts never lost sight of the purpose behind the commitment to build an incredible Aviation resource for their local community to marvel at. 

The Classic Flyers NZ Skyhawk Mission has required a ton of the third ingredient; "Perseverance!" The arrival date of this magnificent piece of Aviation machinery "Skyhawk" has been pushed back many times.  Through thick or thin the team have stayed true to their "Passion" and "Purpose" and continued to "Persevere" to assure the community that the "Skyhawk" will indeed grace us with her presence.  One final push had the team solidify the May 21st, 2012 date and the rest we say will be "Aviation History" . 

"Events Innovated" - Creating Innovative Experiences

Written by Margit Barreras on April 27th, 2012.      0 comments

An Evening with Sir Graham Henry

"Classic Flyers NZ",  work hard to support the ideas and concepts of local companies and  entrepreneurs, to bring the community of Tauranga innovative and thought provoking events. 
May 9th, Classic Flyers opens its doors to an “Events Innovated” Gala Event "An Evening with Sir Graham Henry."  "Events Innovated" are a Mount Maunganui based company dedicated to producing events rich in meaning and relevance with a twist of intrigue. 
 Events Innovated’s Philosophy: Think Big: Dream Big: is certainly reflected in the upcoming event.  An Evening with Sir Graham Henry offers a rare opportunity to get a glimpse into the mind of an international leader and New Zealand icon.
Events Innovated’s Vision: Prestige and Excellence: is certainly outlined in the outline of features of the evening’s events.
  • Keynote speech and interview with Sir Graham Henry
  • Audience Q&A with Sir Graham Henry
  • Renowned broadcaster and MC, Peter Williams
  • Sumptuous dinner and quality entertainment
  • Charity Auction in support of youth cancer charity, CanTeen
As their name denotes “Events Innovated” Goal: Success through Innovation.  Their perceptive approach in piecing together events that reflect innovation by choice of Participants all the way through to Venue sets them apart as true Event Innovators. 
Classic Flyers NZ is proud to play host to this innovative team and look forward to further events that help us all grow forward as 21st Century Innovators. 

Classic Flyers NZ Presents - Young Flyers NZ - Aviation Inspired Homework Program

Written by M.Barreras on March 21st, 2012.      0 comments

Young Flyers - Aviation Inspired Homework Program
Ages 8 and Up

Launching April 23, 2012


"Classic Flyers NZ" have been developing anAviation inspired Homework program over the past couple of months.   Already playing a large part in the education of local students we wanted to create a program that ensured students completed weekly homework along with being inspired by the topic of Aviation. 

Who and Why?:

A team of NZ trained educators have pooled their resources and come up with  an exciting path to success for students aged 8 and up.  Research has shown that students identify strongly with the transfer of knowledge that Aviation studies provide.  Having the ability to tie concrete experiences to abstract concepts found in maths and science allows students to move forward with the ability to build on the foundation of theory and practice combined. 

People are curious and love discovering things for themselves.  When we give our students the opportunity to do just that we create learning experiences that will lead them to success in life.


To learn more check out Young Flyers NZ and sign your student up today!

Young Flyers Homework Program


Vote for us to win a brand new 2013 Corolla!

Toyota are saying thanks to New Zealanders for making them the best-selling car company in New Zealand for 25 years by giving 25 deserving local Kiwi charities a 2013 Corolla each to use for three years! We’ve been nominated and would love your votes . Check out our Facebook page for more information. Or else go directly to our Profile page at the Toyota Facebook page (click here) or click on the image below and vote for us now!


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Note that you do need to be a Facebook member and be logged in to Facebook to vote.


We'd love to keep you informed of what's happening at Classic Flyers NZ!


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07 572 4000

9 Jean Batten Drive,
Mount Maunganui,
Bay of Plenty,
New Zealand